Effective Solutions for the Challenges You Face

Teens and Children

Young Woman Discussing Problems With Counselor

Individual Therapy, Play Therapy and ADD/ADHD/LD assessments

My training includes internships at the Duke Child Guidance Clinic at Duke Medical Center, the Children’s Psychiatric Institute at John Umstead Hospital, and the Child Psychiatric Clinic at Dorothea Dix Hospital.  I work with children and teens who range from 5 to 17 years of age.

Child therapy is very different from adolescent therapy.  A younger child’s conflicts, fears, and aggressions are expressed in their play, so a child’s play is basically their “therapy work.”  Children may re-enact life stressors and traumas with puppets, a doll house family, a snake family, or classroom figures (teacher, students, desks, school bus). Drawing, coloring, and craft activities are others ways to work through and resolve problems.

In middle school, children are moving into adolescence and social relationships, and they are more interested in talking, drawing, or playing a variety of card games or board games. The therapy setting is casual with bean bag chairs where they can discuss their issues or concerns with friends, classes, grades, siblings, or other family problems.

Psychologist and child during a therapy session with a child. Showing emotion pictures

High school students tend to be more verbal and they want to talk about issues involving personal problems (anxiety, depression, shyness), school problems (grades, teachers, peer relationships), family issues (illness, separation, divorce), and emerging sexuality.

Kids of all ages are referred by their parents for assessment of ADD, ADHD, and Learning Disabilities.  Parent consultations are conducted at the end of a child session, by phone, or in a separate parent session.

My 8-year-old son was scared to ride a bike, and I took him to see Dr. Alexander.   After a few sessions and a low dose of Zoloft, he rode his bike to a friend’s house. He was so proud of himself!